Pedro 'to leave Chelsea and sign for Roma as a free agent'

Pedro to leave Chelsea and ‘sign for Roma as a free agent when his contract expires despite interest from Juventus and three other sides’

  • Spanish winger Pedro’s contract at Chelsea will expire at the end of the season
  • Pedro has been at Stamford Bridge since 2015, featuring 201 times for the club
  • Pedro has reportedly decided to leave Chelsea and sign for Serie A side Roma
  • However, the 32-year-old has attracted interest from Serie A giants Juventus too 

Pedro has reportedly decided to sign for Roma as a free agent when his contract expires at Chelsea at the end of the campaign.

The Spanish winger’s time at Stamford Bridge appears to be coming to an end and he can already negotiate a deal elsewhere.

And according to Spanish publication AS, Pedro views Roma as the ‘priority’ – which backs up a story from Italian paper Il Tempo – as he seeks his next move following five years in west London.

Chelsea winger Pedro has attracted heavy interest from the likes of Roma and Juventus

This comes despite attracting interest from four other sides, including Serie A giants Juventus, Sevilla, Valencia and Real Betis – according to Mundo Deportivo.

Roma have been in hot pursuit of the 32-year-old winger for some time now, and it appears their efforts have been successful.

Pedro joined Chelsea from Barcelona back in 2015, and he has gone on to feature 201 times for the Premier League outfit. 

Since moving to Stamford Bridge, he was one the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League once, and will be hoping to ensure Chelsea finish in the top four come the end of the season before leaving.

This season, the Spaniard has contributed two goals and three assists in 18 matches across all competitions for Frank Lampard’s side. 

The Spaniard has spent five seasons at Stamford Bridge, featuring 201 times overall




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

'God wanted me to stay at Chelsea', claims Olivier Giroud

‘God wanted me to stay at Chelsea’: Olivier Giroud admits he nearly left Stamford Bridge in January before penning a new contract last month… and credits divine intervention – and a chat with Frank Lampard – for U-turn

  • The 33-year-old appeared surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge 
  • He was set to leave in bid to of keep his place in France squad for Euro 2020
  • But Giroud impressed after earning a recall and was rewarded with a new deal

Olivier Giroud believes ‘God wanted him to stay at Chelsea’ after the striker signed a contract extension to extend his stay at the Blues.

The 33-year-old appeared surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and he was set to leave the club in January in hope of keeping his place in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for Euro 2020.

But Giroud impressed after coming off the bench in the Premier League defeat by Manchester United.

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud (centre) was in high spirits at training on Wednesday

Giroud then started the next five matches for Frank Lampard and scored in the home wins against Tottenham and Everton before the Premier League was suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus crisis. 

And Giroud was rewarded with a contract extension until the end of next season.

‘I was supposed to leave in the January transfer window because I wasn’t playing much and I needed more game time to make the France squad for Euro 2020,’ Giroud told the club’s website.

‘I very nearly left the club but I really think that God wanted me to stay at Chelsea. The manager told me that he couldn’t let me leave because he didn’t have anyone to replace me. Everyone knows what happened so I won’t go back over it but the coach spoke to me privately and told me that he’d give more games.

The 33-year-old was rewarded with a contract extension until the end of next season

‘He kept his word and what then mattered to me was proving to him that he could count on me when I was called upon. I simply seized my opportunity and I repaid the faith that the manager had shown in me.

‘That’s why the club ultimately offered me the chance to continue my time at Chelsea and I accepted immediately because I like it here. I want to keep winning trophies and I want to continue to show the manager that he can count on me.

‘Plus, with the whole coronavirus lockdown situation, I didn’t really feel comfortable with the idea of moving abroad and uprooting my family. I think a lot about our quality of life and we have a great setup here. I think a lot about my family now.’

Giroud was keen to repay the faith of boss Frank Lampard after he was given more game time




Share this article


Source: Read Full Article

Eddie Jones wants to cut the number of subs to speed up the game

‘We NEED to make the game faster’: England head coach Eddie Jones calls on World Rugby to cut number of substitutes to six as part of radical plan to speed up the sport and stop it becoming like NFL

  • Eddie Jones has urged World Rugby to stop rugby becoming American football 
  • A Test match normally lasts around 100 minutes with the ball in play for just 35
  • England head coach said match-day squads should be trimmed from 23 to 21 

Eddie Jones has urged World Rugby to stop the sport turning into American football by cutting the number of substitutes. 

On the day Premiership clubs were given the green light to resume phase one training, the England coach called for a radical shake-up. Jones said match-day squads should be trimmed from 23 to 21 and he also asked rugby’s chiefs to sort out the hotly debated global calendar. 

‘The game has gradually moved along a track and hasn’t been looked at carefully enough,’ Jones told Sky Sport NZ. 

Eddie Jones wants to reduce the number of substitutes in a bid to speed up the game

‘Now we’ve got this game that’s almost like NFL. A Test match normally goes for 100 to 110 minutes. The ball is in play for 35 minutes, which hasn’t really changed in the last 25 years. The ball out of play has increased to 65 minutes. 

‘Now we’ve got this great ball-out-of-play time and this small ball-in-play time. It’s exacerbated the fact, with eight reserves, that we’ve got such a power game now. 

‘It’s gone too far down the power line and we need more continuity in the game. We need to make the game faster. 

The England head coach said match-day squads should be trimmed from 23 to 21

‘I’d only have six reserves. That would make a hell of a difference. Three front rowers, one back rower to cover the back-five, one half-back and one back to cover the rest. I reckon that would introduce some fatigue in the game. 

‘From a scrum reset — and I need to think this one through a bit — we could go for a differential penalty where you can’t kick for goal. 

‘You’ve got to take a quick tap or kick for the line. We’ve got to get more movement in the game.’ 

Rugby could face major reforms when it returns. As revealed by Sportsmail, Premiership clubs unanimously voted for a salary cap overhaul on Wednesday, following 52 recommendations by Lord Myners in the aftermath of champions Saracens’ relegation for repeated breaches. 

English clubs were also given clearance to return to individual training, with strict criteria including social distancing and daily health checks. No return-to-play date has been set, although discussions have been held about postponing the start of the 2020-21 season until next year, with a view to aligning competitions in the northern and southern hemispheres. 

A Test match normally goes on for around 100 minutes with the ball in play for just 35 minutes

Jones backed calls for a global calendar, saying: ‘The opportunity now is for World Rugby to come up with a global schedule and that’s the exciting part. The game does need a restructure. It’s all over the shop. 

‘The opportunity to get a global schedule where the international windows match up would be fantastic.’ 

Meanwhile, Gloucester announced the departure of director of rugby David Humphreys on Wednesday, just weeks after the exit of head coach Johan Ackermann. 

Eddie Jones (above) has urged World Rugby to stop the sport turning into American football

The search is on for a new head coach and they have a shortlist of five. They will interview candidates in the coming week with a view to appointing a new man by the end of the month. 

Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley could be involved, with his ban for betting on rugby matches running out later this month. 

A series of trial laws were announced for the New Zealand-based Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, including innovative red-card replacements. Should a player be sent off, their team will lose a man for 20 minutes before a replacement can be brought on. 




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Twitter reacts to J.R. Smith beating up man who allegedly broke his truck window during LA protests

J.R. Smith will go down in history as the guy who forgot the score in Game 1 of the NBA Finals and cost the Cavaliers a victory. On Sunday, exactly two years after that moment, Smith captured attention again when he kicked and punched someone who allegedly busted out the window of his truck.

TMZ obtained a video of the incident.

Protests and riots are going on around the country stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Smith, who participated in protests in Los Angeles over the weekend, said his truck was parked in a residential neighborhood away from where looting occurred in the area. 

Smith defended his actions in an NSFW video posted on his Instagram story. 

“One of these motherf—ing white boys didn’t know where he was going and broke my f—ing window in my truck,” Smith said.

Smith, 34, has only appeared in 11 NBA games since the 2018 Finals in which the Cavs were swept by the Warriors. 

He had Twitter buzzing again Sunday. 

Twitter reacts to J.R. Smith 

NSFW

Source: Read Full Article

Payet defends decision not to take pay cut from £100,000 salary

Former West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet defends decision not to take pay cut from £100,000-a-week salary at Marseille amid the coronavirus pandemic, claiming he has ‘significant financial outlays to maintain’

  • Dimitri Payet refused to take a £100,000 paycut during the coronavirus crisis
  • Marseille had reduced staff wages by 30 per cent during this period
  • But Payet insisted he had to think about the needs of his family first 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Dimitri Payet has claimed that taking into account the needs of his family was behind his decision not to take a paycut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Marseille star earns £100,000 in a deal lasting to 2022, having taking a £20,000 drop in wages to leave West Ham for the south of France in 2017.

Marseille have had financial issues to contend with during the pandemic, having reduced the staff pay by 30 per cent during this period.

Dimitri Payet has defended his decision not to take a drop in his £100,000 salary at Marseille

But Payet has stood by his decision to collect a full salary, with the French league having already been declared finished back in April. 

‘Everyone has had their say on this matter,’ he told Le Journal de l’ile de La Reunion.

‘My position was clear and obvious. The player that I am is also the father of a family. Like everyone, I have significant financial outlays to maintain, and engagements to keep.

The former West Ham United midfielder admitted he did what was best for his family

‘My role is to defend my interests and those of my family, without putting the club in danger, with everyone knowing how attached I am to it [Marseille].’

Marseille enjoyed a strong season under the management of Andre Villas-Boas, and with their second place finish now confirmed can look forward to Champions League football next term.

The former Tottenham and Chelsea boss has seen his reputation rise up once more in France and Payet is delighted that Villas-Boas will continue to lead the team again next season after agreeing a new deal at the club.

The 33-year-old is looking forward to kicking on under Andre Villas-Boas (above) next term

‘[Villas-Boas] had all the support from the locker room,’ the 33-year-old said.

‘A year ago, few of us would have seen us in second place in the standings with such a small squad. He did whatever it took to be rewarded for achieving this goal.

‘He is still with us. He wants to continue the adventure. This is what counts today. The recent management of the coach shows [Marseille] have grown in crisis management

‘When we say that Marseille is a family, it’s not just words. We really are together, without listening to outside opinions. We are united when it comes to the club.’




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

LaLiga clubs given go ahead to begin full training from Monday

LaLiga clubs given go ahead to begin full training from Monday ahead of proposed return to action on June 11

  • LaLiga clubs have been given permission to return to full training from Monday 
  • Teams have been training in groups of 14 having stepped up from groups of ten
  •  LaLiga is poised to return on June 11, with Sevilla set to take on Real Betis

LaLiga clubs are permitted to return to full training from Monday as the league edges closer to a return to action.

At the start of May LaLiga clubs returned to individual training and then stepped up to training in groups of ten players before progressing to groups of 14 players.

LaLiga is set to return from June 11, with Sevilla poised to take on Real Betis. 

LaLiga have given their clubs permission to return to full training from Monday next week

Now full training will be allowed from next week, with players also permitted to use the club’s changing rooms.

A statement on LaLiga’s official website read: ‘La Liga clubs will start collective training on Monday, June 1.

‘The fourth phase, which starts next Monday, is the last step in this protocol that will lead to clubs starting competition on June 11.’

Teams have been training in groups of 14 but will step up ahead of La Liga’s return on June 11

Once the season resumes it is anticipated that games could be played every day until the campaign concludes on July 19.

The 2020-21 season is then set to get underway on September 12. 

There is still much to play for in LaLiga this season, with leaders Barcelona currently two points ahead of their closest challengers Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Mallorca, Leganes and Espanyol currently occupy the relegation places but the likes of Celta Vigo, Eibar and Valladolid are far from safe. 




Share this article


Source: Read Full Article

Inter 'to include £13m anti-Juventus clause in Icardi's PSG deal'

Inter Milan ‘to include £13m anti-Juventus clause in Mauro Icardi’s PSG deal’ as Italians ensure they will be compensated if the striker goes on to join their rivals

  • Inter Milan have put a £13million anti-Juventus clause in Mauro Icardi’s PSG deal 
  • The Italians have ensured they will be compensated if he goes on to join the club
  • The striker is set to complete a permanent switch to Paris after a season on loan
  • The deal is thought to be worth around £45million with £6million in add-ons 

Inter Milan will include a £13million ‘anti-Juventus’ clause in Mauro Icardi’s Paris Saint-Germain deal in order to ensure the striker does not join their rivals in the future.

The 27-year-old has spent the current season on-loan with the French champions and is reportedly set to complete a permanent switch for a fee of £45million with £6million in add-ons.

But Inter have taken steps to ensure they are compensated if the forward goes on to join Juve in the future, according to Goal.

Inter Milan are set to include a £13million ‘anti-Juventus’ clause in Mauro Icardi’s PSG deal

The Italians have taken steps to ensure they will be compensated if he joins Juve in the future

The report claims the club would receive around £13million if Icardi made his way to Turin.

The Argentine’s option-to-buy clause expires on Sunday but Sky Italy claim PSG have reached a deal with the Italians.

Reports suggested the club have agreed a £170,000-a-week four-year contract with the Argentine which would see him earn in the region of £8million a year.

Reports suggest the club have agreed a £170,000-a-week four-year contract with the striker

Juve were one of the other teams interested in signing the forward but he is bound for Paris

The striker has managed 20 goals and four assists in all competitions this season as PSG were crowned champions following the early cancellation of the Ligue 1 season due to coronavirus. 

Icardi’s contract at Inter runs until 2021 but he has always been set to leave after a falling out with the club’s board and a clear indication from Antonio Conte that he is not part of his future plans.

Juve were one of the other clubs interested in a move for the forward along with Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea. 

Conte’s team have also been linked with a move for PSG striker Edinson Cavani who is out of contract in June.

There had been suggestions that PSG could opt to offer the Uruguayan a new deal as a cheaper alternative to shelling out for Icardi but the striker seems bound for Paris.  




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Broadcasters plan to cover Premier League games remotely

Broadcasters plan to cover Premier League games remotely but Sky Sports are keen for big-name pundits to be present at Anfield for Liverpool’s trophy presentation

  • Sky Sports plan to have presenters and pundits working from their studios
  • BT, meanwhile, may tell staff to work from home, as they have for the Bundesliga
  • Owen Hargreaves has been offering insight from home via video link for BT Sport
  • Broadcasters are keen to capture Liverpool lifting the league trophy at Anfield

Broadcasters are set to cover Premier League matches from remote locations rather than stadiums, but remain hopeful of negotiating their presence for Liverpool’s trophy presentation.

Sky Sports plan to have presenters and pundits working from their studios in Isleworth, where two-metre distancing will be carefully managed.

BT, meanwhile, may tell their staff to work from home, as they have for coverage of Germany’s Bundesliga. 

Broadcasters are set to cover Premier League matches from remote locations – not stadiums

England midfielder-turned-pundit Owen Hargreaves has been offering insight via video link and commentators have even been covering fixtures from their own homes. 

But broadcasters are keen to capture Liverpool lifting the trophy, which would traditionally take place following their final home game of the season at Anfield.

That would come after facing Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, and one Sky insider told Sportsmail that they want their big names at Anfield for that moment.

That is assuming Liverpool are not forced to see out fixtures in neutral venues.

In Germany, broadcasters are expected to only use skeleton camera crews inside stadiums, with presenters and pundits providing analysis from elsewhere. Commentators are keen to ensure they are allowed access to grounds to cover games, however. 

Broadcasters are keen to be present for Liverpool’s potential trophy presentation 

Those in radio are particularly conscious of ‘dead air’ — something which is not usually a concern because the noise of supporters fills any gaps. They feel they would benefit from being allowed inside stadiums.

Meanwhile, broadcasting regulator Ofcom are not planning to talk to broadcasters to discuss the risk of players and coaches swearing being picked up by pitchside mics. 

There is a concern that the 9pm watershed could be broken. But Ofcom will only monitor the Premier League’s return rather than proactively remind Sky, BT, the BBC and Amazon of their responsibilities to the code.




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Klopp reacts to Liverpool possibly playing big games at neutral grounds

Jurgen Klopp is not convinced Liverpool will have to play any Premier League matches at neutral grounds and is not bothered about it if they do.

The Premier League are considering playing some ‘high risk’ games at neutral grounds over the remainder of the season, because of fears that crowds will gather outside stadiums.

Liverpool matches would fall into the high risk category, especially the ones in which they can win the Premier League title, as wild celebrations would be expected.

The Reds need just two more wins to be confirmed as Premier League champions, given their mammoth 25 point lead at this stage.

The neutral ground plans have not been confirmed and Klopp is confident that the Premier League can be persuaded otherwise.

‘The stadium…we didn’t hear that yet, there’s some talk about it,’ Klopp told beIN Sports. ‘I’m pretty sure we can resolve the situation here in Liverpool as well.

‘We have the best home fans in the world so maybe now we have the best stay at home fans in the world.

‘Look, we waited a while for this situation and it’s not done yet.

‘If we would have stopped the league, if we’d done the silly null and void stuff, then it is clear we are already champions, we wanted to play anyway and now we are desperate to play because we want to become champions on the pitch.

‘It looks like we can do that, wherever it will be we don’t know, we hope it will be at Anfield but we don’t know. That’s not important.’

Liverpool are hoping that a return to Anfield will be signed off thanks to discussions with police and the Safety Advisory Group.

Even if they cannot, though, Klopp is certain that winning the title will be a joyous affair and that players, staff and fans will celebrate together when and where they can in the future.

‘Most of the people on this planet never have the chance in their life to be champions of the Premier League.

‘For us it looks like we have a chance so we take it. Then there will be a moment in our life that we have the time and opportunity to celebrate together, then we will celebrate it in the right manner, whenever that will be. But we decide how much we enjoy it.

‘In the moment, wherever it will be, in an empty stadium blah, blah, blah.

‘With all the thoughts and prayers and love from all the people around the world it will still be an absolutely exceptional day in my life.

‘Yes it’s not perfect but we’ve known for a while that it won’t be perfect so we’re used to that. We just want to have it, then we’ll see how it feels and I’m sure it will feel pretty good.

‘Usually there’s a 50% chance that you don’t become champion in your own stadium anyway, so who cares?

‘That’s really not too important, we just want to be together in that moment.

‘We will see how much close contact is allowed until then, we will use every inch of that, but only if it’s allowed.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Source: Read Full Article

REVEALED: Football fans to be asked if they want crowd noise in games

REVEALED: Football fans to be asked whether they want crowd noise to accompany the broadcast of Premier League matches with officials desperate to keep fans glued to screens when the season resumes

  • Football fans will be asked whether they want crowd noise during matches
  • All top-flight games will be broadcast on TV but will take place without fans 
  • The Premier League are desperate to keep the viewing experience entertaining 
  • The sound of supporters cheering and booing is one of the possible options   

Football fans will be canvassed about whether they want crowd noise to accompany matches when the Premier League returns next month.

The viewing experience was one of the matters discussed at Wednesday’s Premier League meeting, when shareholders voted to allow players to resume full contact training ahead of the action starting again on June 17.

Yet Sportsmail understands that fans will be asked for their opinions on how the games should be presented, given they will all be behind closed doors.

Football fans will be canvassed about whether they want crowd noise to accompany matches

Viewing experience was one of the issues discussed at Wednesday’s Premier League meeting

The Football Supporters Association, the national representative body for fans in England and Wales, is expected to discuss possible ideas within the next 48 hours with Supporters’ Trusts and official supporters’ clubs, and report back to the Premier League.

The governing body’s priority is to ensure fans can be represented during matches even though they cannot be physically present.

With fans unlikely to be allowed back into crowds for a significant period – perhaps well into next season – Premier League bosses are desperate to ensure the game can still attract and retain supporters against a TV backdrop of empty seats.

Bosses are desperate for the game to retain supporters against a TV backdrop of empty seats

One of the options discussed has been to make the sound of fans cheering and booing available to viewers, while another has been to enhance the pitch-side microphones for a greater flavour of what players and coaches are saying to each other – although the use of bad language is a clear stumbling block in this case.

Danish club Aarhus are also attempting to build a ‘virtual grandstand’ at their Ceres Park ground, which would allow fans watching on television at home to appear in the ground via digital platform Zoom.

FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said: ‘We have been regularly briefed and informally consulted throughout the decision-making process, and we are expecting to gauge the views of our members on these matters.’

Danish club Aarhus are attempting to build a ‘virtual grandstand’ at their Ceres Park ground




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article